The West used to be the loudest voice advocating for human rights. But Western governments' evasive stances on the horrifying death of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi government dissident, suggest this is no longer the case. In the light of huge economic links and political turbulence, are human rights still valued in western civilization?
Hard to say, because promoting human rights globally is complicatedShow moreShow less
Cultural norms and social values vary from a country to another, which introduces difficulty balancing international civil rights and social cultural values, especially when mainly the West made the international rights. The United States may find it difficult to decide when to intervene in events in other countries like Khashoggi’s death. The West tries to balance intervention to protect civil rights with the cost or risk of infringing on a country’s autonomy or limiting freedom of speech. The norms in Western countries are different from those in the East. International norms may not align or may even contradict the norms in specific places in the world. Based on these varying values, it is difficult to say whether the West has dismissed human rights.
Khasoggi’s connection to the United States may or may not make it more necessary for the U.S. to intervene. Khasoggi had three U.S. citizen children while he was on an O visa and was going to apply for a Green Card. People debate whether his citizenship status and connection to the United States should make the U.S. definitely intervene in his death or whether U.S. protection only extends to its citizens. It is uncertain whether the United States has dismissed its own values.
The United States should have intervened in Khashoggi's death because it is a clear violation of basic human rights which should be universal and independent of social norms or values. The United States should have proceeded in its promise to conduct a deep investigation on the case. The United States ignored a congressional resolution imposing sanctions. These investigations and sanctions are necessary as part of the U.S. role because Khashoggi's death is a clear violation of human rights. Inaction or slow action means the U.S. has dismissed some of its civil rights values.